Social media giant Twitter is exploring the uses of blockchain technology. CEO of Twitter Inc. Jack Dorsey testified before a Congressional committee on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The US House Committee on Energy and Commerce asked him questions related to transparency and accountability. Dorsey suggested that distributed ledgers could be used to stop scams and misinformation on the platform.
How Could Twitter Use DLT to Thwart Scams?
Dorsey was asked by California representative Doris Matsui about the potential use of blockchain in the social media company. Dorsey answered:
“Blockchain is one that I think has a lot of untapped potential, specifically around distributed trust and distributed enforcement potentially.”
“We haven’t gone as deep as we’d like just yet in understanding how we might apply this technology to the problems we’re facing at Twitter, but we do have people within the company thinking about it today.”
On the same day, Dorsey provided testimony at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing focused on the alleged interference during the US presidential elections in 2016.
Thank you Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Pallone, and the committee, for the opportunity to speak on behalf of Twitter to the American people. I look forward to our conversation about our commitment to impartiality, transparency, and accountability.
— jack (@jack) September 5, 2018
Fighting a War Against Bias and Scams
Twitter came under fire last month when Duo Security published a research report claiming that it came across a network of at least 15,000 scam bots using Twitter to spread fake cryptocurrency giveaways. During the study, 88 million Twitter accounts were scanned by the researchers who used machine learning techniques to identify bots.
Later, the platform faced another controversy when it did not ban the account of a right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (and his business InfoWars), unlike what Facebook, Apple, and YouTube did. Instead, Twitter commented that the account did not violate the community guidelines but then later suspended his account for seven days.
Following the hearings and Dorsey’s tweets, Twitter permanently banned Jones’ account, claiming it violated the abusive behavior policy of the platform. The use of blockchain could likely help the platform detect these issues quickly and ensure the platform becomes safer for the users, but this could be some time away.